Samsung and Apple have not had the best relationship, with the South Korean firm now surpassing Apple in smartphone adoption. Both tech giants have never been limited themselves to smartphones, as they are now offering a variety of product categories.
In January, Samsung introduced the Smart Monitor M8, which comes with a laundry list of features and high-end specs, marking the company’s big step into the all-in-one device territory occupied by Apple’s iMac.
The M8’s high-end specs and features have compared it to the Apple Studio Display, which was unveiled in March at the company’s Peek Performance event. Both are undoubtedly impressive displays that could be hooked up to a Mac, but the M8 is more than just a consumer monitor as it adds cloud and smart TV features across the board.
This article shows how the Apple Studio display stacks up against Samsung’s new monitor.
|Specs||Apple Studio Display||Samsung Smart Monitor M8|
|Resolution (pixels)||5120 by 2880||3840 by 2160|
|Color range||P3||99% sRGB|
|Peak brightness||600 nits||400 nits|
|Webcam||12MP ultra-wide||1080 detachable SlimFit camera|
|Ports||1x Thunderbolt 3, 3x USB C||1 micro HDMI1x USB Type C Up1x USB Type C Down|
|Connectivity||None||Wi-Fi 5Bluetooth 4.2|
|Audio||6-speaker system||2x5W with tweeter|
On the surface, both displays follow the same design language, as they are built from a single aluminium extrusion. The M8 comes in white, blue, green, and pink. The M8 looks good and will match pretty well with your Mac setup.
Samsung’s display is physically larger than Apple’s, due to having a smaller 27-inch screen instead of 32 inches. The Studio Display is smaller at 18.8 inches tall, 24.5 inches wide, and 6.6 inches deep on its title-adjustable stand. The M8 is, on the other hand, 22.6 inches tall, 28-inches wide, and 8 inches deep on its stand.
The significant difference is that the Samsung display is tilt and height adjustable out of the box, something you cannot do with the Studio Display unless you pay for an upgrade.
In short, there is no winner when it comes to design. Both displays are visually appealing with full-body aluminium. However, the Samsung display is slightly heavier at 14.8 pounds than Studio Display’s 13.9 pounds. This is not a big deal as both tend to be kept on a desk. You won’t notice the weight difference unless you move them.
Samsung’s display features two USB-C ports, including one supporting 65W charging. There is a micro HDMI port instead of a full-size HDMI port. The M8 has Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi 5 radios, thus adding support for smart TV features.
The Studio Display features one Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port with 96W charging support and 3 USB-C ports for handling peripherals.
The Apple Studio Display wins out when it comes to ports, as it comes with 4 USB-C ports on the back. Samsung’s adoption of a micro HDMI port has made the display a slimmer body. However, it lags behind the Studio Display in terms of connectivity support.
As for wireless connectivity, the M8 has its advantage as it includes Wi-Fi 5 support and Bluetooth 4.2. It allows the display to connect to the internet and other hardware without paying extra cash. You also can use it as a display for iPhone or iPad, thanks to its AirPlay support.
Speakers & Webcam
The Apple Studio Display features a 12MP Ultra-Wide camera on the front with Center Stage support, the same technology we have seen on the iPad Pro (2021).
Samsung’s display does not come with a built-in webcam. Instead, it includes a wireless SlimFit Cam that can be attached to the back of the top of the display. It’s a 1080p camera at 30fps. It supports Face Tracking, which behaves the same as Center Stage does.
We have been using the Studio Display for months and noticed that its built-in camera did not deliver a good image quality as promised. In most cases, the images look blurry and have a lot of noise.
Last month, Apple released a beta firmware to developers that promised improvements to the Studio’s built-in webcam. However, the difference was not significant. There was much less noise in the images captured by the front webcam during our test after the update. But, the images were still washed out compared to Samsung’s webcam.
According to James Thomson, an Indie iOS/ Mac developer, the Center Stage cropping is now less aggressive. But, the image quality is still washed out compared to his iMac Pro camera.
As for speakers, the Studio Display features six speakers with force-cancelling woofers. It supports wide stereo sound and Spatial Audio when listening to Dolby Atmos content.
The M8, on the other hand, comes with a setup of 5W stereo speakers with a tweeter. It supports Adaptive Sound+, a cool feature that allows automatic audio adjustment to match your surrounding environment.
The Studio Display has its upper hand when it comes to speakers. It offers a fantastic listening experience thanks to its 6-speaker system. If you watch Netflix or YouTube, the Studio is a better deal.
Both offer amazing picture quality, which is perfect for video editing. However, several things set them apart.
One of the most significant differences is the screen resolution. The Studio Display is a 5K monitor with a 5,120 x 2,880 pixels resolution, giving a pixel density of 218ppi. The M8 offers a 3,840 x 2,160 4K screen, thus providing a lower density of 138ppi.
The text looks nice and sharp on both monitors. However, if you are used to a high-resolution display higher than 4K, the M8 seems blurry. If you are someone who comes from a 1080p screen, this thing is much sharper.
As for screen brightness, the M8 delivers 400 nits compared to 600 nits. Both monitors are bright. But if you are viewing off-axis, you should notice a lot of colour shift, and brightness shift contrast loss on the M8. This is because it’s a VA panel instead of an IPS panel.
There are also some uniformity issues where the corners are darker. On the other hand, the Studio Display does not have that issue at all. Both look amazing when you view them straight on, but the Studio Display has better contrast and brightness for viewing content and editing.
The Samsung M8 can act as a smart TV, thanks to support for popular streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, Apple TV, and Disney Plus.
It is powered by Tizen and comes preloaded with SmartThings Hub, which lets you control Z-Wave smart home and IoT devices. The M8 also supports Samsung DeX and runs Microsoft 365 apps in the cloud. The Studio Display is believed to run iOS 15.4 but does not support any streaming apps.
What to Buy?
Both monitors are great and target different types of consumers. The M8 is an excellent option for people looking for a display that performs double duty as a TV and monitor at $700. If you want a premium display for professional works like photo editing or graphics design, the Studio Display is the better option.